Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp admits he is unlikely to experiment with young players for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Norwich City.
Klopp named seven players aged 23 or under for Wednesday’s 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory over Exeter City at Anfield – Sheyi Ojo and Joao Carlos Teixeira among the goals.
However, while he wants to keep as many youth products at Liverpool as possible, he knows it will be difficult to afford them regular first-team opportunities in the Premier League.
With the club looking to end a run of three league matches without a win when they travel to Carrow Road, the German coach will be relying on his more experienced players.
“We need to keep them [the young players] here and then work with them. Football isn’t just about individual development,” said Klopp.
“Yes, you have to develop individually but you have to develop as a team, you have to learn your position and you have to show you can work together with the team.
“You have to show you know about your job and the things you have to do. We will keep them here, work with them and I am sure the way [to regular football] will be shorter for them – but that’s for the future, not now.”
Successive defeats away at Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth have seen Norwich slip to 16th position, just two points clear of the relegation zone.
However, Alex Neil’s side have put together a promising string of results in front of their own fans, where they are unbeaten in their last five top-flight outings – a run which includes draws against Arsenal and Everton.
Having made his initial loan move from West Ham permanent, Matt Jarvis returned from two-month injury lay-off in the aforementioned defeat at Stoke.
The 29-year-old has thanked team-mate Robbie Brady for helping him quickly settle back into the side and hopes they can help secure positive results.
“I think Robbie has shown exactly what he can do week in, week out. He’s been outstanding and it’s been great to form a partnership with him,” Jarvis told Norwich’s official website.
“It’s good once you know what you each do, it makes life a lot easier. We just need to make sure that we keep doing well and get Norwich up the league. “
Klopp’s injury list remains lengthy, with attacking options Philippe Coutinho (hamstring), Daniel Sturridge (hamstring), Divock Origi (knee) and Danny Ings (knee) sidelined.
Defensively, Dejan Lovren (hamstring) and Martin Skrtel (hamstring) are also unavailable.
Norwich will be without Gary O’Neil as he serves the second match of his three-game ban, while on-loan Andre Wisdom is ineligible to feature against his parent club.
Steven Naismith could make his first appearance since his arrival from Everton.
Key Opta stats:
– Liverpool have won nine and lost none of the last 11 Premier League meetings with Norwich City.
– Norwich have conceded a league-high 14 goals from crosses in the Premier League this season.
– Since Jurgen Klopp took charge of his first Premier League match at Liverpool on October 17th, they have won 19 points from 14 matches – a tally that seven teams have collected more than.
– Norwich City have exactly the same record after 22 games that they did in their last Premier League season (2013-14, in which they were relegated) – W6 D5 L11 and 23 points.
– Since signing for Liverpool in January 2013, Daniel Sturridge has played just 60 of a possible 116 Premier League games for the club (52 per cent).